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Battle Of Governors: Ortom Fires Back At Mohammed Over Firearms Bearing Herdsmen




Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has condemned a recent statement by his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed.

Recall that Governor Bala Mohammed had defended firearms bearing herdsmen, saying that they were protecting themselves from rustles.

Reacting to Mohammed’s comment, Ortom said that Mohammed statement violates the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.

Governor Mohammed had at an event on Thursday, February 11 justified the use of AK-47 by Fulani pastoralists across the country while herding their cattle.

However, Governor Ortom reminded Bala Mohammed that Benue indigenes in Bauchi don’t carry AK-47.

He went on to say the forests in Nigeria are not owned by individual states but by the federal government.

Reacting to the comments in a statement by his spokesman, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom expressed shock over the Bauchi governor’s support for herdsmen bearing arms.

The statement read in part: “Governor Ortom wonders which section of the law the Bauchi state governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.

“He recalls that it was the same Governor Mohammed who once said on national television that a Fulani man is a global citizen and therefore does not need a visa to come to Nigeria and that the forests belong to herdsmen.

“In reference to Governor Bala Mohammed’s comment that there are Benue people who are freely doing business in Bauchi and elsewhere, Governor Ortom states that Benue indigenes in Bauchi have been law-abiding and do not carry arms to attack their hosts, noting that Fulani, as well as many other Nigerians residing in Benue who respect laws of the land, also live peacefully with their hosts.”

Recall that Governor Ortom on Thursday, February 11 asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.

The governor also stated that those carrying out attacks on communities in Nigeria are not Nigerians but foreign Fulani herdsmen, who he said took advantage of the country’s porous borders to gain entry.

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